Best Ways to Keep Cats from Destroying Furniture?

sil

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Whats the best way to keep cats from destroying furniture? I read there are sprays that do that. I've also read about electric wireless fences. But what have been your successes with this problem?
 

ArtNJ

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Good thing you stopped in here then, unless there has been a technology advance, electric fences are horrible for cats as the collars often cause ulcers. That is what the internet will tell ya, and when I was younger, stupider and desperate due to fighting cats actually injuring each other I unfortunately discovered its true firsthand. If there was a technology advance and they were now safe for cats, it would be a huge deal and we would know about it. (We likely wouldn't recommend it for furniture, but might for fighting cats that need to live separate lives.) So cross that right off.

For valuable furniture facing imminent destruction, or a problem you just cant solve, nail caps at #1. (Google soft paws, the original nail cap brand, although there are now many competitors.) However, most people do find them a huge PITA (or some degree of PITA anyway), so unless we are talking antique furniture that you are in a tizzy over (in which case try the nail caps) the real #1 is training. For me, training means a loud "no!" when they scratch furniture. It has to be loud enough to startle a bit. If you are having trouble with the loud no, You can clap close to the cat, or if need be, give a small but gentle push to the cat when they are in the act. Simultaneously, you make sure you have enough scratching posts of designs the cat seems to like. I think the Articles tab may have something on this topic, but that is probably the gist of it.

You might read something on squirt guns/bottles; surprised that you saw wireless collars recommended but not squirting. There is a segment here that find squirting always unacceptable. I am not in that segment, it can work, but there are practicality and effectiveness issues. You can use the loud "no!" method instantly when you see the behavior. By contrast, you may need to run and get the squirt bottle, especially if there are multiple pieces being scratched in different locations. If you have to run and get it, the squirt bottle tends to not work well. And some cats don't mind being squirted. Finally, if your cat is not well bonded, the squirt gun may be more likely to cause problems (I've never seen any issues whatsoever, but my cats have always been well bonded.) So I haven't used a squirter in years, but I would likely break the technique out for something very important requiring quick results and involving a single area, where I could leave the squirter right there for easy access.
 
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Neko-chan's mama

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I put a scratching post where Neko-chan was scratching. When I caught her scratching the post, I praised her and gave her the treats she loved most, salmon pure bites. When she went for the couch, I stomped the floor and said a sharp no. I also got her used to having her nails trimmed.
 

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She's a witch

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My cat practically stopped scratching a couch when I gave him attractive and easily accessible alternative: big, stable, high, rectangular, carpeted post placed in the middle of the living room. I figured out that he prefered the couch because of stability: he’s strong cat and any other regular post would move when he scratched them with the full body stretch, but the couch would not, so really hard to blame him for this choice. He loves this big post and although he still has some rare scratching accidents, it’s nothing comparing to what he was doing with the couch before.
 

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I put those inexpensive cardboard scratchers wherever they liked to scratch.They much prefer to scratch the scratchers than the furniture. There is one armchair that Lily would hop up on and scratch the upper arms, so I covered that with a lap blanket for months. She got out of the habit of scratching there, so I was able to remove it.
 
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sil

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For valuable furniture facing imminent destruction, or a problem you just cant solve, nail caps at #1.

You might read something on squirt guns/bottles; surprised that you saw wireless collars recommended but not squirting.
You mentioned shouting. But 1 of my cats is deaf. I refuse to squirt at my cat as I find it disrespectful to her and can wet the floor. Not practical.

I'm so desperate that I'm strongly considering wireless fence though I understand why its not recommended. I saw on yt where pets were zapped just once as they approached a wireless area. They never returned there again. Its a learning experience for them I imagine. So I think I might go that route but I need further research upon the subject.
 
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sil

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S sil : Hello and welcome to TCS. Do you currently have a cat that's scratching furniture? If so, how old is the cat? Depending on its age, it may be more difficult to break the habit.

TCS has this article which has 23 Proven Ways To Stop A Cat From Scratching Furniture | TheCatSite
Also 5 Reasons To Never Spray Water On Your Cat | TheCatSite
My cats have scratched all my fabric and leather furniture. Tried shouting, getting angry. Never tried the scratching board. But if they target anything I'm certrain they wont distinguish between a scratch board and furniture.

One of my cats is 18 years old. The other is 8.
 

She's a witch

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You mentioned shouting. But 1 of my cats is deaf. I refuse to squirt at my cat as I find it disrespectful to her and can wet the floor. Not practical.

I'm so desperate that I'm strongly considering wireless fence though I understand why its not recommended. I saw on yt where pets were zapped just once as they approached a wireless area. They never returned there again. Its a learning experience for them I imagine. So I think I might go that route but I need further research upon the subject.
I totally agree with you that squirting is disrespectful to the cat, but giving her electric shock isn’t?
 

RangersMom

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In my personal experience, get them some a cat tree / cat condo they can climb and scratch. Its much more fun for them than a couch. Just put a few scratching posts around and eventually they'll stop. Honestly, water bottle spraying did nothing for my cats, and you don't ever want to shock or hurt them.
At the end of the day: a cat is a living thing, and a couch is just a couch.
 

KittyFriday

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They also make things like corner protectors if your cat is focusing on just a corner of the couch.
Double stick tape is another option - it's just no fun to scratch at tape so your cat will soon give up.
 

ArtNJ

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Baffling to me that abscess causing electric fencing ranks above squirting. Also, nail caps work, they are just a PITA, but should rank well above electric fencing as well. I've never used the product FeebysOwner FeebysOwner cites above but it looks like a logical thing to try if the cat has a favorite spot or two to scratch.
 
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Twylasmom

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Scratching posts near furniture and anti-scratch tape help. I recently bought a new sectional and two months later ended up with a kitten in addition to my cat so the sectional has been a big target. I put scratching posts at the corners and anti-scratch tape on the arms. I also bought several yards of inexpensive fabric in a similar color to the couch. I padded the sofa corners with old towels and then wrapped the fabric around the back of the sectional, tucking the extra behind the cushions. It's not gorgeous, but it is helping to protect things, though it doesn't stop the scratching.

I have also heard of using canned air (the kind used to clean electronics, doesn't make a noise) and spraying that at cats to distract them, but haven't tried it.
 

mekkababble

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Double sided tape. Go to your favorite office supply store and pic, up a roll for $3. Put it where your cat likes to scratch and provide a nice alternative post. It took my cat 2 days max to decide the post was a bettter option. No furniture scratching recurrences in 3 months. More humane, easier, and cheaper then any electricity oriented solution
 

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My cats have scratched all my fabric and leather furniture. Tried shouting, getting angry. Never tried the scratching board. But if they target anything I'm certrain they wont distinguish between a scratch board and furniture.
They can tell the difference and much prefer the scratchers because they can really dig into it.
 
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sil

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I totally agree with you that squirting is disrespectful to the cat, but giving her electric shock isn’t?
I was going to mention the comparison. But based on what I've observed on yt with pet owners, zapping once, twice maybe 3 times is enough for pets to get the hint to never return to the area of "discomfort." In this sense, it may be the fastest solution and far practical than squirting as counter-intuitive as that seems.
 
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sil

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~ They make transparent vinyl slip-covers for sofas & chairs. Protects and easy to clean . 👌😉
Doesnt work as covers dont cover the whole sofa area and arent made for other furniture types.
 
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